The difference between diamond and brilliant

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One of the most frequently asked questions is the difference between a diamond and a brilliant. Others will wonder which is worth more of the two and which is potentially more valuable. Let’s take a closer look at the correct positioning on this issue.

Although this short question describes a very common confusion in the marketplace, it is essentially entirely wrong! In fact, it is not possible to confuse the two terms, as they refer to two different concepts that cannot be compared to each other.

So, is there a difference between a diamond and a brilliant?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, as they are two dissimilar concepts. No, because as these concepts relate to different things, we cannot talk about differences by definition.

The root of the confusion between the two concepts lies in the everyday life of the market. For reasons of brevity or lack of relevant training, the use of the word brilliant had prevailed, instead of the longer but correct term “round brilliant cut diamond” or “diamond with a brilliant cutting style”.

The term brilliant describes the way a stone is cut and in no way the type of stone. So we cannot compare a diamond to the way it is cut. The brilliant cutting style consists of triangular and/or rhomboid-shaped facets arranged radially around a central point. The outline of the brilliant cut stone can be round or any other shape. It is also worth noting that any stone can be cut in this way.

The characteristic of the brilliant cut style is the glow it gives to the stones and the multiple reflections of light. Brilliant cut diamonds tend to have more sparkle and stronger rainbow colored light reflections. This characteristic is called “fire” and is caused by the refraction of light associated with the shape and number of facets on the diamond’s surface.

At Mil-Or, you can find gemstone jewellery, such as for example the solitaires with brilliant-cut diamonds. Browse through our categories and choose the products that best suit your style. Do you prefer to see our products in person before making a purchase? We are waiting for you at our physical store, 21 Karolou Dil in Thessaloniki, where our consultants will help you make the best choice for you.


Eva Kountouraki GG, AJP, JBM

Gemology Instructor, Jewellery Consultant